When was the last time you had fire suppression system testing for your property? It's easy to overlook fire safety checks when you have many obligations as a company owner or building manager. On the other hand, regular fire suppression system testing is critical for appropriate fire protection.
Keeping business fire alarm and suppression systems in good working order is critical. A fire may start at any moment, exposing your business to unimaginable tragedy. Because effective fire alarms and suppression systems allow people to flee more quickly, your company has a chance to prevent a huge disaster.
Here are a few things every company owner should think about when it comes to properly maintaining, inspecting, and testing commercial fire alarms and suppression systems.
Water sprinklers, gas suppressors, and fire extinguishers may all be used in fire suppression systems. As the name implies, a fire suppression system is intended to control and prevent flames from spreading. This may be accomplished by immersing them in water, foam, a wet chemical solution, or powder.
Alternatively, by releasing gas, you may deprive the flames of oxygen. Although effective, Sprinklers may cause water damage to equipment and other assets, while gas does not. The likely source and type of fire determine the sort of suppression needed. These mechanisms are your first line of defense.
Fires not only endanger people's lives, but they also destroy property and precious goods. The damage and interruption caused by fires may significantly affect your company's profitability. Thus, ensuring that your fire suppression system works ideally is critical.
Extinguishers, water sprinklers, and gas suppression systems do not last forever. They will break down with time, like any other construction system, becoming less efficient. Corroded cylinders, clogged hoses, and scratched detector tubes are examples of damage. Some of these flaws are more difficult to discover than others.
Failing to inspect the system regularly increases the chance of false alarms, which can disrupt your business. Unchecked components may either activate slowly or not at all. This allows flames to spread more quickly, putting your employees and assets in danger. As a result, these systems must be tested and maintained regularly. This ensures that all components within work properly to help control fires.
A fire suppression system testing would vary depending on the complexity and size of your system. It would also be based on the types of components installed. The industry you work in has an effect on this, too.
A fire suppression system testing would include physical checks, testing, cleaning, and adjustment for each part of your system. Also, this includes hoses, gas cylinders, detectors, firing mechanisms, and sprinklers. Then there are bells, sirens, control panels, alarms, and batteries in electrical components. The condition and age of components are checked to see if they need to be repaired, recharged, or replaced.
If one part of your system isn't working to its maximum efficiency, it may lead to false alarms. It can also fail to suppress/contain fires—complete tests to check if the performance of suppression systems is adequate and in compliance with safety standards. On completion, a certificate of testing and inspection is issued.
As a quick recap, here's a list of what is checked during an inspection:
For peace of mind and to ensure your system is fully compliant, make sure you book a fire suppression system testing to see if your system needs repairs or upgrades.
Preparation for fire suppression system testing will often be minimal, but it's essential for a smooth process.
First, have your fire inspection and maintenance records for the technician when they arrive. Ensure that as much of your system that can be exposed is easily accessible, so clearing areas in your equipment room may be necessary. Finally, have someone with your system on-site and ready to walk the property with the technician.
Equipment like sprinklers, alarms, and fire extinguishers must be inspected regularly to ensure proper functioning. Let's go over the importance of having a professional inspect your fire protection system.
A malfunctioning fire protection system is useless when it comes to putting out a fire. Inspecting your systems regularly can help identify problems and repair them before a fire starts. A properly running system will suppress a fire and save lives in the long run.
The primary reason for fire suppression system testing is to protect all building occupants from potential fire hazards. Regular inspection, testing, and maintenance make working and living environments safer so your employees or residents are protected.
Also, false alarms waste local fire department resources and put lives in danger. Prevent accidents and expensive fees by scheduling maintenance and testing your fire protection systems.
If a fire breaks out, your building and property are at risk. Without a functional fire protection system, one tiny spark could cause your building to smoke. Test your fire protection system on the recommended schedule to ensure everything functions correctly to reduce the risk of property damage.
The National Fire Protection Association has standards for inspecting, testing, and maintaining fire protection systems. Additional regional and state codes may also apply to you. These requirements include how often fire protection systems must be inspected and what steps an inspector must take to ensure everything works as expected.
The penalties for not compiling with fire codes include fines, building occupancy denial, and legal consequences. It is much easier to work with a fire protection company that can help you with fire code requirements with no additional effort.
Insurance companies commonly offer discounts or premium reductions for fire-protection systems that are properly installed, maintained, and professionally monitored. Following these procedures allows business owners to limit liability for any potential injuries suffered by occupants of their business. The insurance company may only accept your claim if you prove that you completed regularly scheduled fire inspections.
As building owners, it is crucial always to take responsibility for the things you can control. For some reason, there are times when fire alarms and suppression systems need to be noticed. Instead, taking proactive action toward inspecting, testing, and maintaining all fire systems within a building is essential.
Do you know the difference between a trouble signal and the supervisory signal on your fire alarm system? What button should you press? All these questions leave you unaware of how your fire alarm system works—not knowing what button does what in your fire alarm system can cause problems in the long run. It's important that business owners and building owners alike find ways to learn as much as they can about their fire alarm systems so that they are using them correctly and efficiently.
The NFPA standards explicitly provide the minimum requirements for business owners and building owners to abide by. However, facility managers should always pay attention to inspecting, testing, and maintaining all fire alarm and suppression systems for everyone's safety. For most businesses, testing should regularly be conducted to ensure that all fire systems are in working order if a fire breaks out.
Another critical component to fire safety is teaching everyone how to use fire alarm and suppression systems correctly. For proper training, facility managers should consider who needs the training. Should everyone in the office be trained to use all the fire systems in place, or should it be more selective? Having the proper people trained on how to use fire suppression systems can do wonders for your office's entire fire safety practices.
Whether you need fire extinguishers, an automatic sprinkler system, or smoke detectors installed at your property, we at Texas Fire & Safety have you covered. We've been protecting people and properties from fire damage for years—and our experience shows in our excellent work! We are known for our wonderful customer service, expertise, and reliability. Reach out to us today!